This is a perfect companion to Ableton Live. It is highly customizable as you are able to use it in however you want to control Ableton. It also works without any need to configure anything straight out of the box. The product is by Akai and even though I consider their products to be of lower/ questionable build quality this one seems to be very good. It may be because Ableton has their name on the product too and they demand higher standards... Nonetheless if you use Ableton Live you are not using it to its full potential without this!
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Review of AKAI APC40
July 16, 2010
from Mill Valley, CA United States
This controller is a great, no-hassle, zero-configuration tool for Ableton Live. Use of the controller is immediately obvious and doesn't require reading the manual for most of the features. It provides easy access to pretty much all of the commonly used controls that the Live grid view offers and does so with simplicity and aesthetically-pleasing visual feedback.
My unit arrived with one of the channel faders a little bit bent, but it was easily pushed back into place. I've had no issues with the unit since. The rubber buttons have a slightly soft/clicky feel to them but are reliable. Faders are short and relatively heavy but usable.
The only real downsides to this controller are the size and the fact that it requires an external wall-wart power supply. The power supply is especially annoying as it plugs in horizontally, meaning that it WILL block any power sockets to the left or right, even if they are spaced to accommodate wall-warts.